Roy's List of Stomatopods for the Aquarium
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Species: Pullosquilla thomassini

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P. thomassini 1
P. thomassini 2
Click on any image to see an enlargement. All photos © 2009 Roy Caldwell.

Common name: None

Functional type: Spearer

Range: French Polynesia to western Indian Ocean

Habitat: Sandy reefs and sand flats, seems to prefer fine grained sand

Depth: Low intertidal to at least 40 m

Home: Adults have simple U-shaped burrows and live in monogamous pairs; juveniles excavate simple vertical burrows

Diet: Macro zooplankton

Size: To 20 mm

Color: Transparent with numerous white chromatophores and a few black spots; eyes white; adult females usually have orange or pink ovaries that fill thorax and abdomen

Distinguishing Characters: Raptorial dactyl with 12 to 16 teeth; rosteral plate cordiform; telson smooth, unarmed dorsally; ventral telson covered with numerous posteriorly directed spines. Another Pullosquilla, P. litoralis, is frequently found in the same habitat, but it does not have spines on the ventral surface of the telson

Activity: Active day and night darting a few cm up into the water column to capture macroplankton but otherwise rarely leaves its burrow

Aquarium Requirements:

Temperature: 22–28° C

Salinity: 32–36 PSU

Cohabitants: Small size and burrows in sand make it vulnerable to predation

Aquarium size (adult): 4 l

Aquarium substrate: Sand bed 15 cm deep; does well in "ant farm" aquaria

Suitability for Aquarium: Hardy; live up to 3 years in captivity

Availability: One of the most abundant of all stomatopods, Pullosquilla are easily collected from tropical Indo-Pacific shallow sand flats using a Yabby Pump or trowel and sieve. Last stage larvae are attracted to night lights and molt to postlarvae the night of collection. They burrow in a few hours and are sexually mature and pair in 3-4 months.

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External Anatomy and Explanatory Notes